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CHICKEN THIGHS SMOTHERED IN TRI-COLOR PEPPERS

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil

4-5 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

2 large onions, chopped into approx. 1” pieces

8 large garlic cloves, chopped

8 ounce white mushrooms, sliced

2 large red bell peppers, chopped into approx. 1” pieces

1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped into approx. 1” pieces

1 large orange pepper, chopped into approx. 1” pieces

2 cups mozzarella, shredded

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh basil leaves (chopped if large)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium high heat (Note – if you don’t have an oven proof skillet, you cook stove top and transfer to a 9” x 13” baking dish for the oven).

Trim any excess fat off the chicken thighs and season them on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the Italian seasoning.  Rub the seasonings all over the chicken to adhere.

When the oil is very hot, add the chicken thighs skin side down and sear for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy.  Turn over and cook for 2 minutes on the other side.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  Note the chicken will not be cooked through and will finish cooking later in the oven.

Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms to the pan drippings in the skillet and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the peppers, remaining teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning to the pan and continue cooking for an additional 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers are soft.

Push the peppers and onions to one side of the skillet and put half of the chicken thighs in the empty side. Cover them with the peppers and then put the other half of the thighs in the other side and top with peppers so there is an even layer over the top of the chicken.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove and top evenly with the cheeses and place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned and bubbly and the juices in the chicken thighs run clear when pierced with a knife (internal temp should be 165 degrees).

Garnish with the basil leaves and devour!!

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